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OTHER FORMS: Bardwell
Meaning & History
Originally meant "person from Bardwell", Suffolk ("Bearda's spring"). A fictional bearer of the surname is Mrs Bardell, Mr Pickwick's widowed landlady in Charles Dickens's 'Pickwick Papers' (1837), who misconstrues an innocent remark about having a companion as a marriage proposal, which leads to her suing Pickwick for breach of promise.